Humanising your brand

Let’s talk about humanising your brand.

When creating an online presence for your company and brand, I’m sure you will have heard “be more human” and “be less corporate”.  But what does that really mean? defines “human” as; 

“Of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people: of or relating to the social aspect of people” 

And that is exactly what you need to remember.  Your online presence should relate to the social aspect of your people by “humanising” the relationship between your brand and followers.  

To do this, you need to find what resonates with your followers, whilst remaining true to your brand. This can be trickier for companies in more ‘corporate’ industries than a more consumer based “relatable” industry like fashion, for example.  

However, there are ways around this… 

We have created a list of our top 6 ways to create high ranking human centred content as part of your marketing strategy. 

  1. Create a buyer persona 

Sales teams create a target market.  Marketing teams create a ‘buyer persona’ – these are the people you want to target. Focusing in on their online behaviours and needs helps you understand what type of digital content they will relate too. For example, a Wealth Management company might find their customers are into travelling, so develop content around budgeting and saving for holidays. 

This is especially useful when advertising through social channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. 

  •  Use real photos of real people  

Nothing quite says ‘corporate’ than the overuse of stock images. Now don’t me wrong, stock images have their time and place, but using real photos of real people who work at your company goes a long way. By showing the ‘real people’ behind the business, brings your relatability factor up 100%.  

People are nosey and they enjoy seeing who works at your company, what they are up to and it helps to establish trust as they know it’s not just a ‘robot’ sitting behind a desk. 

You don’t need a professional photographer to take photos either. Smartphone cameras can be just as good (in the right hands ?). If you need any hints, check out YouTube for tips and tricks.

Take a look at the Prospect 13 social channels – we love a selfie! 

Also, our client Involve HR, do this well. They’ve blended the use of stock imagery with photos of their team throughout their website where appropriate. Take a peak for some inspiration.  

  • Show your relatable side 

Marketing Week conducted a survey and found that 33% of people believed brand humanity comes from activating emotions in your customers.  

So be relatable.  

Don’t be scared to put yourself and your news out there. Good or bad, people will cheer you on either way. Often, brands are afraid to share bad news for the fear of being judged. But what is more relatable than someone making a mistake? We all make them and shows we are human. 

Our client, Bob Christie ofConcept Promotional Merchandise, has like many businesses, had a tough time during the COVID-19 pandemic.  But Bob remained positive throughout and wore his heart on his sleeve when he got in-front of the camera to give his audience a recent update.  Bob was honest, endearing and inspirational.  This was received well by clients, suppliers, friends and supporters but also gave a sense of hope that you can move forward despite the challenges faced. Check the video here.

  • Tell a story  

Humans are emotive beings. Some more emotional that others! 

Telling a story, whether that be on your brands history, your products life cycle, or a recent experience delivering a service can really help to establish a sense of credibility and trustworthiness. 

Humour also goes a long way.  In fact, it releases endorphins in the brain that may promote the formation of social bonds. So use these “stories” as an opportunity to show a funny but relatable side to your team and business.  

Recently our clients at CSG have started just that. Their long-standing staff member, Jackie Milne, has begun a monthly vlog to share stories of her time at CSG.  Jackie has seen it all over the years and is the perfect person to give cleaning tips whilst making you giggle at the same time. Hear from Jackie here.

  • Show appreciation for your customers  

Thanking your customers or involving your customers in content is a great way to show your appreciation. User-generated content is the best way to do this, but will differ from brand to brand. For example, restaurants and cafes can create posts that incorporate photos taken by customers whereas a promotional merchandise company might post photos of customers with their new products. Whilst both are different, they both add value as it creates excitement for the customer as well as being flattered you chose their photo!  

  • Balance  

It’s a common misconception that you should sell, sell and sell on social media to get results. But that just doesn’t work.  

In fact, people are put off with a constant sales message.  Sales content is of course key but you need to find a good balance between ‘selling’ and ‘human’ content. The general rule is 80/20.  

Yes, 80% ‘human content’ and 20% sales.  Not the other way round. 

Let your audience get to know your brand and your people, but allow your underlying sales message to remain strong.  When they like you, they will remember you.  And when they need you, they will find you.   

Moving away from that corporate voice will work wonders for your online presence.  Be real to achieve real results.   

If you want to discuss humanising your brand, give me a shout